Earlier today, Pope Francis made a pastoral visit to the Italian cities of Nomadelfia and Loppiano, the homes of two prominent Catholic movements founded in the 1940s.
The Pope’s 22nd pastoral visit within Italy began this morning as he flew by helicopter to Nomadelfia, a community of Catholic families and lay unmarried people who adopt a lifestyle of brotherhood inspired by the first Christians in the Acts of the Apostles. In Nomadelfia all goods are shared, with no private property. It is made up of families that take in abandoned children.
After landing, the Pope's first visit was to the tomb of Italian priest, Father Zeno Saltini, who founded the community in 1948. Meeting with a delegation of the Nomadelfia Community, the Pope described them as a “prophetic reality that aims to bring about a new civilization, implementing the Gospel as a form of life that is good and beautiful.”
From Nomadelfia the Holy Father flew to Loppiano, near the Tuscan capital, where the international centre of the Focolare Movement was established in 1964. He was welcomed by over 7000 members of the Focolare movement where he told them to remain faithful to their roots and to trust in the future. The Focolare is an international movement based in Italy that promotes the ideals of unity and universal brotherhood among all people. Founded in 1943 by the charismatic lay Catholic woman, Chiara Lubich, the Focolare Movement today is active in 194 countries.
After landing in Loppiano, the Pope first stopped for a while and prayed at the Maria Theotokos Sanctuary in the Focolare complex. In the yard outside of the sanctuary, the Holy Father meet the community and its members. But before concluding his visit and returning to Rome, he invited those present to look to the Mother of God saying that the Shrine dedicated to her in Loppiano is an invitation to learn from her.
Here in Canada, the National March for Life Rally in Ottawa was in full swing earlier today. Francis Denis was on the ground and had a chance to talk to a few of the participants.
And finally, the congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto has just announced their new leadership. Sr. Georgette Gregory is the new congregational leader for the next term. And with her on the new leadership team are Sisters Mary Anne McCarthy, Sr. Nida Fe-Chavez and Sr. Anne Purcell.
The sisters of St. Joseph have always been great friends and supporters of Salt + Light Television and all of us here at the studio would like to congratulate Sr. Georgette and her new council, and express our deepest thanks for all their great support over the years.
And that is all that we have time for this week. Join us again on Monday when I bring you more news and stories from the perspective of a Catholic lens.